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In what ways is the use of calligraphy and geometric patterns in Islamic art connected...

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me9113 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:56 AM via web

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In what ways is the use of calligraphy and geometric patterns in Islamic art connected to the Muslim worldview?

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kipling2448 | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:26 AM (Answer #1)

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That depictions of God and of Mohammed are prohibited in Islam is a given among almost all Muslims.  Many Islamic clerics, especially in the dominant Sunni sect, believe that it is also forbidden to depict any living creature.  This could be considered an extreme interpretion of the Quran, which does not specifically impose such a ban, but given that the Islamic Holy Book does prohibit idolatry, many clerics have extended the prohibition on depicting God and Mohammed to a prohibition on depicting all living things.  The result, throughout the history of Islam, has been an emphasis on geometric patterns, usually surrounding calligraphy with the most important of all Islamic mantras, the declaration of faith, "There is no God but God; Mohammed is the messenger of God."  One of the principles of Islam is the recitement of that declaration, and it appears on paintings in homes throughout the Muslim world.

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